Emo Court is a magnificent neo-classical mansion situated in the midst of the ancient Slieve Bloom Mountains, making it a picturesque location that should be on every visitor's must-see list when exploring Ireland. The famous architect James Gandon, fresh from his work on the Custom House and the Four Courts in Dublin, began work on Emo Court in 1790. However, the building was not completed until some 70 years later.
The estate was home to the earls of Portarlington until the War of Independence forced them to abandon Ireland for good. The Jesuits later moved in and used the mansion as the Novitiate of the Irish Province, hosting around 500 trainees of the order. In the 1960s, Major Cholmeley-Harrison took over Emo Court and fully restored it. He then opened the beautiful gardens and parkland to the public before finally presenting the entire estate to the people of Ireland in 1994.
Today, visitors to Emo Court can enjoy the picturesque lake and woodland walks, or take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful gardens before relaxing in the charming tearooms. The house is currently being carefully and expertly restored by the OPW and will soon have new exhibits and displays for visitors to explore.
In summary, Emo Court is a magnificent location that offers visitors a glimpse into Ireland's rich history and cultural heritage. With its beautiful architecture, picturesque gardens, and stunning natural surroundings, it is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the country's treasures. A visit to Emo Court is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Ireland.